Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing, VA Campus Los Angeles
A successful pilot project rehabilitated a historic building as federally funded transitional housing for veterans, providing a model for meeting a critical need nationwide.
The Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing building, formerly known as Building 209 (B209), stands in the Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Campus, one of the largest campuses of its kind in the nation.
B209 originally served as a neuropsychiatric hospital. Like most buildings in the campus, B209 is in the Mission Revival style.
After years of vacancy, the Department of Veterans Affairs set out to adapt the site into safe housing for homeless veterans undergoing treatment for mental trauma—a critical need nationwide.
The site needed serious rehabilitation. Years of development to meet evolving healthcare needs left the building with incompatible alterations, most notably on the interior. The exterior needed significant upgrades to meet seismic structural code requirements.
The team completely rehabilitated the building, stabilized it, and adapted it into apartment-style units, administration offices, recreational spaces, and support facilities for residents.
Among many other things, they restored all the original steel-sash windows and replaced the few that were missing. They painted the building’s exterior in the original color, and painstakingly removed lead-based paint from the interior.
For accessibility, the team installed a ramping system partially hidden by terraced gardens.
They seismically retrofitted the building to ensure the safety of resident veterans for years to come.
B209’s rehabilitation provides a successful model of rehabilitation that the VA can apply nationwide to meet the crucial need of providing transitional housing for veterans. It also could serve as a catalyst for further revitalization on this very important historic campus.
The building is located in the West Los Angeles VA Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. It is also individually designated at the local, state, and national levels.